A. Systems Theory (ST) is arguably the most frequently employed theoretical approach to the social scientific study of human communication.
B. System Theory comes to us from the sciences -- especially the field of Biology -- where scientists have long looked at living entities from a systems perspective.
EX: Fishing eco system
C. One of the more recent advocates of Systems Theory is an engineer at M.I.T named Peter Senge (<http://www.infed.org/thinkers/senge.htm>. In 1990, he published a a book titled, "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization" which made the NY Time best sellers list. The book is an application of Systems Theory to organizations (see review: (http://www.infed.org/thinkers/senge.htm)
A. A system is a set of objects or entities that interrelate with one another to form a collective whole unit.
Ex: Social Media Eco System
B. A system possesses several properties.
1. Interdependence -- the parts of the system are connected in such a way that they move or operate together as a single unit.
Ex: John Stockton and Karl Malone
2. Non-summative wholeness -- a system is greater than the sum of its individual parts . . . the interrelationships among objects allows those objects to achieve more than they could working alone.
Ex: Weight lifting
3. Hierarchy -- the parts of a system are organized in terms of "superior" and "subbordinate" subsystems. "Superior" subsystems have influence and control over "subordinate" subsystems.
Ex: Chain of Command
4. Dynamic -- the parts of a system are always changing as they adjust to internal and external fluctuations, hence the system continues to change over time.
Ex: Interpersonal relationships
5. Equifinality -- a system can achieve its goal(s) and objective(s) in different ways and from different starting points.
Ex: Education System